wave: seeking to stay buoyant in life’s choppy waters

wave - beach - boots - sea - seeking to stay buoyant in life's choppy waters - (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

“Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them.” — Psalm 89:8-9 NIV

Each summer I yearn to go to the coast, inhale the ozone and watch waves rise, foam and fall. It would be such a soothing sight, calming and restorative to my soul. Who wouldn’t want to sit, observe (people-watch) and breathe in the view or swim and be cradled by lapping water and get wet through? Even a virtual non-swimmer like me relishes such thoughts.

Sadly, the limitations of having M.E and chronic illness, including impaired mobility, hypersensitivity to light, a pain-filled, uncooperative body that doesn’t cope well with exertion, humidity or heat, coupled with travel-induced fatigue, and Raynaud’s Syndrome causing shivers and blanching at the slightest sea breeze, make it rather problematical for me now.

Instead, I remember times past, decades ago, when I was able to enjoy watching waves without those restrictions. We spent several hot summer days on the local beaches, getting sand in our sandwiches, paddling or swimming in the sea, playing games with the children, and marvelling at our suntanned faces and limbs. Now I muse on waves as a poet might do because they have such great symbolism too.

waves - Who wouldn't want to sit, observe (people-watch) and breathe in the view or swim and be cradled by lapping water and get wet through_ quote (C) joylenton @poetryjoy.com

The wave we need

We are paddling furiously
as if it all depends on us,
not on the tide or the rhythm

of the sea. Fearing falling,
we forget to lean
into the waves, forget

to check our position
and what we might have
to depend on. Forget, too,

to relax our bodies
into suppleness,
cut ourselves some slack.

Instead, we waver,
like uncertain skittles,
wobble around,

choke, sink close
to drowning. Until we hear
a calming voice calling,

speaking softly
to our souls, then more
urgently than before. His voice

rises clearly above and cuts
across the choppy waters,
urging us to let him be

the wave we need, the support
to lift us when we fall, the one
who carries us effortlessly.
© joylenton

wave - “Perhaps this is the most important thing for me to take back from beach-living quote by Anne Morrow Lindbergh in Gift From the Sea @poetryjoy.com

If you, like me, would appreciate a reminder of hearing waves breaking on the seashore, maybe this short sea breathing technique video from former M.E sufferer, meditation  author and creative communicator  Liz Babbs will help, and relax your soul. 🙂 ❤

6 thoughts on “wave: seeking to stay buoyant in life’s choppy waters

    • Drew, that sounds like a wonderful way to relax and fall asleep! Do you use an app or have your own recorded sounds? That would be a great idea to implement for a poor sleeper, like me. 😉

  1. Dear Joy,
    What a gift this post was today! I read your beautiful poem through several times, just as I was needing to pause and let the Lord lift me on His own waves of strength. Blessings and hugs and love to you, across the big wide ocean! Xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, oh how grateful I am for the opportunity to bless you in that way! Those holy pauses are soul strengthening. It pays to be able to discern just when we need to rest ourselves and let the Lord lift us “on His own waves of strength” rather than battling on regardless. The ocean between us might be big and wide but we can unite heart to heart in friendship, love and prayer, with no barrier or divide. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xoxo

  2. Like you,some of my loveliest memories too are with my children at the beach. I think our memories even heighten the experience, filtering out what was unpleasant or annoying, and leaving in only the joy. Of course nothing is more soothing than the sound of the waves, even in recording. I could listen to that forever. All that’s missing is the scent of the sea! If only we could bottle that. Hugs to you Joy. May you be well.

    • Oh yes, Deborah, we do tend to “filter out what was unpleasant or annoying, and leaving in only the joy” because that’s what we want to hang onto most of all. I smiled at the thought of bottling the scent of the sea. If only… 😉 I gratefully accept your virtual hugs and well wishes. Being “well” for me isn’t necessarily absence of chronic illness or disease because those things are an unavoidable part of my life. Rather, I think it means a lessening of severity of symptoms, a grateful, surrendered heart, a growing awareness of God’s sustaining grace, and a mind that seeks the wonder and joy wrapped up in the ordinary everyday. Blessings of rest and peace to you, my friend. xo 💜

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